It’s been since March 20th that we have been unable to go anywhere but grocery or home improvement stores. Our governor has extended the stay home order until May 4th and has upset many people in the state. Protests are growing in Wisconsin, Michigan, and other states and it’s reaching a boiling point. Personally, if he extends past May 4, I expect it to get pretty bad in MN too.
Why has he upset them?
With 1.2-2.5 million out of work, extending this stay home order is keeping them from income. On top of that, he is using a model that goes against 80% of the other models out there and shows 10 times the deaths that other models are projecting for our state. We have people getting reporting from CNN rather than the CDC and it’s causing panic. People are so worried about this virus that they are overlooking the fact that if the economy bottoms out because everyone hides away, we either stream a lifetime of crippling debt to our offspring’s great grandkids, or we have seniors and vulnerable adults unable to buy food, housing, insurance, etc because their retirement incomes have disappeared due to the economy crashing.
What do the models have to do with this?
The models are being used by state and federal governments to assess death estimates, as well as project how many hospital beds and staff will be required to treat the sick. In March, they showed 2 million dead in the US by July if we all stayed home and “flattened the curve”. They have been reassessed 4 times since then and are showing around 65k – 100k deaths in the US by year end. Our governor’s model shows Minnesota will have 20k-200k deaths in our state alone. Other states are reopening soon, like Texas, Florida, and others, while states like Iowa and Nebraska, who have level headed governors have no “official” shut everything down orders. Hospitals across the nation are laying off staff because there is no rush for critical care and cAusing even more unemployment. An Oklahoma hospital even closed because it had no one there to treat. People that need elective surgeries and medical procedures (even some cancer therapies) can’t be seen until stay home orders are lifted, which risks pushing our deaths further. On top of that, those without work are pushing debt down the road and lining up a wall of debt that may end up crushing them if they cannot start working soon. Some in our state are upset and are planning legal protests and civil disobedience within the following weeks as a result.
Isn’t this virus dangerous?
Well yes and no. So far, death rates of people showing severe symptoms are just under 2%. The problem here is there are several known but not always effective treatments, and hospitals are refusing to admit or see patients who are showing mild treatments, which essentially denies them treatment until they get into a situation where symptoms are severe or critical, which increases their chance of dying when it could have been treated at mild or medium stages. On top of that, hospitals are laying off nurses due to projections being miscalculated, so it is crippling the economy more. 95% of all cases are mild or asymptomatic, but those in the at-risk category are definitely a higher risk of death. Smokers, those with heart or kidney issues, asthmatics, immune-compromised, or the elderly are the highest risk of death. That said, it is definitely something that we should take seriously, but also handle intelligently, which we are currently not doing. , NJ, NY, MI, and LA make up a majority of the deaths, and many that died had underlying health conditions. There is definitely a way to let healthy people keep working and lower risk of infection, while still keeping the at-risk in a minimal-risk scenario. I don’t know exactly how in every detail, but it is possible. Those that are scared can stay home.
So that’s where we are at. The US and other countries are stuck with rising death and suffering and a risk of more death & suffering because of this virus that China (as the data shows) released, even if it was accidentally. Many states saw the estimates decrease and yet their stay home dates were pushed, and it’s frustrating them. I don’t blame them for being frustrated, and I don’t blame anyone for wanting to protect any at-risk person in their life, but there has to be a middle ground.
Are you concerned?
Not at all, for myself, but I worry about friends and loved ones…not just because of the virus, but also the unemployment and the businesses that will fail over the next few months.
We don’t need a government check, we don’t need a mandated vaccine for this (MERS and SARS didn’t either), we just need to let people that want to stay home stay in their home and people that want to work go back to work in a responsible way.